Declaration on the Census held in Bulgaria in February 2011

DECLARATION

of the undersigned Macedonian organizations in Bulgaria regarding the Census held during February 2011:

We, the representatives of the Macedonian organizations in Bulgaria, assembled on March 20, 2011 in the city of Sandanski, after carefully reviewing and summing all the available evidence regarding the Census anonymously and without hesitation reached the following conclusions:

1. The Census was held in conditions of official denial of the existence of a Macedonian minority and nation, lack of registration of Macedonian organizations, artificially created negative stereotypes in the society towards people declaring a Macedonian self-identity;

2. The Census was held in an atmosphere of fear, generated through dismissing employees of the National Statistical Institute during September 2010 just because they allowed census form entries of “inexistent ethnos” in the preliminary census, declaration of a Government Minister against the freedom of expression, threats in the local press that distributors of fliers calling the Macedonians to freely self-identify will be sued etc. This fear affected Macedonians as well as the Census takers who should be made aware of the case of the employees who were dismissed for allowing the entry “Macedonian” in the census forms.

3. There was a lack of the entry “Macedonian” in the census form as well as of other minorities in Bulgaria with the exception of the Turks and Romas.

4. There was a lack of control from external observers as well as from the representatives of the Macedonian organization in the country of the census process.

5.  There was lack of guarantee of manipulation with the census entries.

6. There was lack of control and the possibility to check the processing of the census data.

7. The anonymity of the population was not protected and threatened through the inclusion of questions regarding their personal ID numbers, three names, addresses, place of work etc.

 8. Moments before the beginning of the census itself illegally and without any reason had been confiscated  bulletin ‘Macedonian voice’, which was dedicated to the the census, by The state agency of ”National security”, the printers had been ceased and interrogated all day long in the Police station in Blagoevgrad. Until the present moment the bulletin hasn’t been returned nor has any explanation been given by the authorities;

9. During the census there was a propaganda going on national television and other media that the Macedonians didn’t exist;

10. There were ascertained a great deal of violations during the census against the freedom of self-determination of the Macedonians.

Because of that and also because of the fact that the government did not answer, neither considered the reasonable requests of the Macedonian organisations placed in the Declaration of September 2010 which were as follows:

1. Placement of paragraph ”Macedonian” in the census card;

2. Official guarantees that the freedom of self-determination would be protected;

3. Taking back to work the unlawfully dismissed people from their jobs.

– Unanimously on behalf of our organizations we decide and confirm our earlier standpoint:

We do not accept and do not agree with the results from the census concerning the Macedonians in Bulgaria whatever they might be!

OMO “Ilinden” – PIRIN, Asossiation of the represed Macedonians in Bulgaria, TMO VMRO (independent);Macedonian christian brotherhood ”Saint prophet Ilias”; Cultural and educational asossiation(CEA) ”Nikola Vapzarov’; CEA ”Ilinden”; CEA ”Tsar Samuil”; Asossiaton ”victory – 2010”; Newspaper ”The will of people”; Bulletin ”Macedonian voice”

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